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Erec and Enide marks the birth of the Arthurian romance as a literary genre. Written circa 1170, this version of the Griselda legend tells the story of the marriage of Erec, a handsome and courageous Welsh prince and knight of the Round Table, and Enide, an impoverished noblewoman. When the lovers become estranged because Erec neglects his knightly obligations, they subsequently ride off together on a series of adventures that culminate in their reconciliation and the liberation of a captive knight in an enchanted orchard.

An innovative poet working during a time of great literary creativity, Chrétien de Troyes wrote poems that had a lively pace, skillful structure, and vivid descriptive detail. Ruth Harwood Cline re-creates for modern audiences his irony, humor, and charm, while retaining the style and substance of the original octosyllabic couplets. Her thorough introduction includes discussions of courtly love and the Arthurian legend in history and literature, as well as a new and provocative theory about the identity of Chrétien de Troyes. This clearly presented translation, faithful in preserving the subtle expressive qualities of the original work, is accessible reading for any Arthurian legend aficionado and an ideal text for students of medieval literature.
Published: University of Georgia Press on
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